What is a Network Tunnel?

What is a Network Tunnel?


A network tunnel is a connection between two computers that allows one to access the other computer over the internet.

A typical use of a network tunnel might be for data backup and storage: if you have an online account with another company, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, you can set up your computer so that it backs up its files to your account on these services using a network tunnel. The same goes for accessing files from work on your laptop when you’re at home – just connect via VPN and it’ll feel like you’re right there at your desk.

A network tunnel can also be used to access a remote computer without having to configure the remote computer with a static IP address, which is useful for accessing files from your home computer when you are staying at a hotel or shelter for the night.

What is a Network Tunnel?

A network tunnel is a connection that is built between two hosts on a network. Data that is transmitted through a network tunnel can remain encrypted and concealed while traversing the shared or public network. Many internet browsing activities and other types of data transfers happen without any direct action on the part of the user. Internet users may not realize how much-unencrypted traffic travels across networks every day to the myriad sites they visit.

Network tunnels can allow you to access your home computers, files, and network storage devices from anywhere in the world. To make this happen is simple; you connect remotely to your home computer or office network with a program like PuTTY or OpenVPN (on Linux), start up the tunnel encryption program, and it creates an encrypted connection between your remote location and the location where your computer is. This creates a virtual ‘tunnel’, through which all of your remote data is routed, ensuring the security and safety of your files.

Which kinds of Network Tunnels are there?

There are 3 types of Network Tunnels below:

  • Software-defined Network Tunnel
  • Physical Network Tunnel
  • Virtual Network Tunnel

Software-defined Network Tunnels:

Software-defined Network Tunnel refers to the virtual network that is built and deployed by software. It can be used in situations where there isn’t a physical MPLS connectivity available, and it acts as a complement and/or alternative to physical network tunnel solutions such as L2TPv3 or GRE.

Physical Network Tunnel:

In a physical network tunnel, two routers on the edge of a customer network connect directly to each other using some form of Layer 2 encapsulation. The link between these two devices is often referred to as a Point-to-Point Protocol-Transport (PTPT) link. This type of network tunnel is used in situations where the customer has a router on either side of an MPLS network and there’s no need to manage the virtual network that sits across the MPLS core.

Virtual Network Tunnel:

In virtual network tunnels, L2TPv3 and GRE encapsulate packets before sending them over the MPLS core. The two routers at the edge of a customer network connect to each other using an L2TPv3 or GRE tunnel, which are then used to carry traffic across the MPLS core. This type of network tunnel is often referred to as an Overlay Network Tunnel because it creates a virtual extension between two sites that are connected by an L2TPv3 or GRE point-to-point tunnel.

How does a Network Tunnel work?

A Network Tunnel facilitates communication between two networks via a VPN. A VPN allows an organization to establish private links over public transmission pathways by creating a data channel. The data channel is encrypted for privacy and integrity, which means that no one can read the content of the data channel except for approved parties.

In order for a VPN to be established, the organizational networks must first connect to this encrypted data channel which is established through an IPsec tunnel. The data channel can then send and share information between the two network endpoints that are on either side of the tunnel.

Once an organization configures their VPN, they enable authenticated users access to one or more of the networks at different access levels; these access levels determine which users can send information to specific servers and what user rights they have on the network.

Network tunnels are crucial today because technology has evolved into an always-connected society, where multiple devices need to be able to communicate with each other constantly over public pathways (i.e. wireless networks in coffee shops, airports, etc.). Organizations rely on VPNs to keep their data secure and private while sharing information with other users.

What are the benefits of using a Network Tunnel?

A Network Tunnel is a reliable way of securing your network. It is also an inexpensive solution that can be used by both small and large businesses to provide security for the network. The use of Network Tunnels overcomes some of the limitations of NAT firewalls. The Network Tunnel provides various benefits, but it’s not without its own set of limitations.

Network tunnels are capable of passing through many types of firewall. This is because Network Tunnels use protocols like HTTP, FTP and POP3 that are already supported on firewalls. By using these standard protocols the Network Tunnel can pass through most firewalls without additional security measures. The ability to support multiple protocols also provides some flexibility where NAT firewalls only support a single protocol.

Network tunnels have been known to display issues with regard to reliability and speed. In some cases, the network tunnel is so slow that it becomes unusable for many online activities such as watching videos or playing games. Network tunnels are also unreliable in that they do not work properly when there are too many active network connections. If this is the case, the network tunnel may disconnect causing you to be unable to connect to your desired resource.

What are the drawbacks of Network Tunnels?

There are two main drawbacks to Network Tunnels. The first is that they are not encrypted, which means that anyone with access to the tunnel can read anything that is being sent. The only way to stop this is to implement a VPN with a protocol that masks traffic, such as IPsec.

The second issue with Network Tunnels is that it does not provide any form of encryption for traffic entering or exiting the network, This means that there is no protection in the event of a man in the middle attack or if an unauthorized person gains access to your system. VPNs, on the other hand, provide this encryption and make it possible to detect and stop unauthorized access.


A Network Tunnel is a tunnel that allows for the transmission of data over an IP network. A Network Tunnel works by encapsulating and transmitting packets from one computer to another on either side of the connection. This is done through a process called packet switching, whereby computers take turns sending information across dedicated links in order to avoid congestion at any given moment. The benefits of using Network Tunnels are as follows: cost-effective connectivity, high performance with less overhead than traditional methods such as leased lines or frame relay circuits, increased security because transmissions can be encrypted, and they work well for remote sites separated by large distances where other solutions aren’t feasible due to expense or distance limitations. However there are disadvantages too: limited bandwidth capacity which restricts how much traffic can pass through, potential latency issues if the packet switching protocol is not configured properly, and they might lack built-in security features.

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